As the postseason develops, a couple of things are apparent: relief pitching is proving crucial to winning teams, and with a better bullpen, the San Francisco Giants could beat anybody still playing. And if the Dodgers make it to the Series, the Giants will really be kicking themselves harder.
Though the Giants immediately fired both first and third base coaches, the words out of the club have emphasized no panic, but yes, we're going into next season knowing who our closer is.
It won't be Casilla or Romo, as it's pretty likely they won't be with the team. It's sad because they both contributed so much to World Series seasons. The story of Casilla in tears after the horrendous 9th inning meltdown that ended the Giants season, because he was even asked to warm up, is heart-breaking.
Other absences are likely to be free agents Angel Pagan and Gregor Blanco. Pagan's contributions--heroics, even--are pretty well known, but there were stretches in several years when Blanco carried the club. When healthy he was a real asset.
Management signals that it will concentrate on getting that big time closer, with several available through free agency. That had better work, because big money is their best option. They can't afford to lose position players through trades.
Otherwise it seems they're looking to keep young arms in the bullpen, and look at others to compete for the fifth starter. They could use another bat with some pop. The infield is interesting, with now two possible starters at third, and Kelby Tomlinson becoming a reliable pinch hitter as well as utility infielder. If a power hitting left fielder suddenly presented himself they might jump at it, but otherwise it seems they'll be content to platoon with young players.
Bruce Bochy seems itching to come back, so that's a plus. We'll see what happens in the Hot Stove League (do they still call it that?)
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